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Control your Mindstorms with iPhone

iPhone remote

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#1 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

We saw there are a few ways to control your NXT with an iPhone out there, but none of them really focus on something specific. We figured remote control cars are always fun, no matter the age, so we thought let's build a car from this set and see how can we drive it.
The touch feature of the smartphone came in handy in creating a touch pad for controlling the car just like using a console joystick.
And of course the built in accelerometer is another feature that we tought might be interesting to use: drive the car by moving the phone through the air.
The third remote we tought about is more like a basic programming interface: build the track for the car piece by piece, set the speed and then use commands such as play/pause/goto to drive on the circuit.

Whe have 3 models now, two of wich are a normal car and a tank built from the standard set. And although the normal car has realistic steering with slightly different angle front wheels turning, the rear wheels slide in turns(they do have to obey to the laws of physics :) ). So we read about this cool differential piece found in several Technic sets that allow the rear wheels to run at different speeds when turning and created the third model using this piece. It now runs soo smooth in turns :).

Then we thought it would be cool to add some upgrades, such as detect obstacles and through balls so we created a ball gun, a catapult and a proximity sensor option.

So the RoboRemote app was born :) and it is now in the App Store. We tested it and we liked it, but we are really curious what you think about it.The puzzle drive remote is free so please leave any comments about it.

The building and installation instructions, and videos of the remote in action are found on our website http://www.redroundrobot.com

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#2 DLuders

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

@ RedRoundRobot:  Welcome to Eurobricks!  :classic:   Have you seen Sariel's recent NXT Multiple Units Simple Control article on his website?

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#3 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

Yes I like his website. Full of really interesting and cool ideas! I find his last article inspiring: maybe we will try something like this in the future and see how it goes :).

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#4 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

So, what do you think? Has anybody tried the RoboRemote yet? Wich model do you like best?

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#5 Jim

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:18 PM

View PostRedRoundRobot, on 11 December 2012 - 03:09 PM, said:

So, what do you think? Has anybody tried the RoboRemote yet? Wich model do you like best?
Hi. Not yet, but the idea and your website is awesome. I have been thinking about making something like this myself :thumbup:

Around Christmas I will definitely build one or more of your robots and take them for a spin.

Kinda reminds me of Roborally the Board Game, which I was thinking of making for iPad. So many ideas, so little time :sadnew:

The Software looks nice. I can connect the server to my phone. I will try to connect one of my NXT units. If that works, I just need to build one of the bots.

#6 MarkusOSX

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:36 PM

Hi,

sound very interesting to me.

one question plz:

Do i always need to run the "server" to control the NTX with iPhone ? That´s not clear for me.

Greetz from Germany

markus

Edited by MarkusOSX, 13 December 2012 - 08:39 PM.

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#7 Jim

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

Yes, you do. The servers acts as a middle man, so to speak. The iPhone can't connect directly to the NXT unit.

Edited by Gekke Ted, 26 December 2012 - 01:32 AM.


#8 MarkusOSX

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

View PostGekke Ted, on 13 December 2012 - 08:31 PM, said:

Yes, you do.

Thx for the answer. Sadly I don't have a NTX (xmas will come...)

But didn't the NTX have Bluetooth? I wonder why it is not possible to connect direct between iPhone and NTX like the App Legodrive.

Greetz

Markus

Edited by MarkusOSX, 13 December 2012 - 08:38 PM.

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#9 Jim

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

You can read why over here:
http://bricks.stacke...d-an-ios-device

It's not officially supported, so the App is only available on Cydia, or Android.

#10 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:20 AM

Yes, Gekke Ted is right: the direct communication between iPhone and NXT over bluetooth is not supported, so an intermediate server is required. On non jailbroken devices the more expensive solution would be something like this: http://www.dexterind...s.com/wifi.html
We are thinking of adding support for it in the nearist future.

Edited by RedRoundRobot, 14 December 2012 - 08:21 AM.

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#11 MarkusOSX

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

thx @ Gekke Ted & RedRoundRobot for the info and links.

Greetz

Markus
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#12 kieran

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

Its a right pain, but one we will have to live with for some time I fear. this looks to be a nice workaround though

#13 Jim

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

It sure is. Hopefully the new (rumored) Mindstorms will have support for direct BT communication or direct Wifi support.

#14 kieran

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

If we get a v3.0 and it supports bluetooth 4.0 my understanding is we may be able to connect the latest crop of IOS devices, not 100% but I think we would

#15 Ramacco

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

I have found this on the internet, not sure if this is 'fake' since nobody else has found this 'bug'. Nice app though. http://www.xyster.net/blog/?p=89

#16 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Merry Christmas to all LEGO fans!

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#17 Jim

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:32 AM

View PostRedRoundRobot, on 25 December 2012 - 08:50 PM, said:

Merry Christmas to all LEGO fans!
The same to you!

#18 RedRoundRobot

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

Finnally the next Mindstorms will bring WiFi connectivity! Really looking forward for the EV3. It would be nice if I could get my hands on one and do some research, but how? :))

Edited by RedRoundRobot, 26 January 2013 - 11:03 PM.

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#19 DLuders

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

Perhaps RoboRemote was used in gdoset's YouTube video to "drive" (control) this Lego Technic 9398 4x4 Crawler.  He wrote that you could "Control your LEGO creations with a motion sensor that functions like a single axis accelerometer":





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